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Obituary: Clay Franklin

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Clayton Franklin, 88, of Gurdon, Ark., passed away at his home on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024. He was born Jan. 29, 1936, in Okolona, Ark.

He attended Gurdon High School and played Go-Devil football. He served in the Army and was deployed to Germany. After returning, he attended both Henderson State Teachers College and SMU School of Banking. He then pursued a career in banking, first becoming president of Clark County Bank in Gurdon, then moving to Nashville, Ark.., to become president of First National Bank. Afterwards, he took a position at Henderson as the Head of Economic Development, where he was instrumental in starting the Bridging the Gap program. This program gave high schools students that weren’t considering college the option for a trade school. He ultimately moved back to Gurdon, where he was asked to become mayor. He remained Mayor of Gurdon for 12 years. Clayton enjoyed hunting, fishing, the river, and 5B Camp. He never met a stranger and enjoyed participating in many Gurdon organization activities, especially the Gurdon CD&E Club that sponsors the Gurdon Forest Festival each year. 

Clayton is preceded in death by his mother, Geraldine Clark Franklin, his father, Doyle Franklin, his wife, Winnie Sue Franklin, and son, Jeffrey Clay Franklin. 

He is survived by: his sister, Becky Jester (Grady); daughter, Jenny Hendrix (John); his grandchildren, JT Franklin (Heather), Andrew Franklin, Railey Williams, Kade Williams (Krista), and Blakely McKay (Avery); three great-grandchildren, Birdie, Adeline, and Navy; many nieces, and nephews, and last but not least his canine buddy, Uncle Caesar. Not only was he our Boppa, but he was known by Boppa to “kids” aged from 2 to 100. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed. May his soul rest in peace.

Visitation is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, at the Herndon-Fuqua Funeral Home of Gurdon.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, 10 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Gurdon with Bro. Mike Proctor, Bro. Travis Langley, and Bro. Donnie Deaton officiating. Interment will follow at Center Ridge Cemetery, under the direction of Herndon-Fuqua Funeral Home of Gurdon.

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